By: Lily Ding
During his presidency, Barack Obama worked to sustain and cultivate the United States’ alliance with Australia, an alliance that was built on shared military intelligence and cultural ties as well as billions of dollars in investment and trade. However, with a single heated phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in late January, President Donald Trump managed to put this seventy year alliance in jeopardy. Trump, saying that taking 1,250 illegal immigrants from Australia’s offshore detention center was a “dumb deal,” reportedly ended his approximately twenty-five minute call with Turnbull by abruptly hanging up on the Prime Minister.
It seems that with every step Trump takes to “better” the United States of America, he simply ends up pushing other countries away, and increasing the separation between the United States and the rest of the world is a step in the wrong direction for the US. Besides the incident with Australia, Donald Trump has also damaged America’s relationship with Mexico. Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump frequently reiterated his intent to have Mexico pay for a wall along the US border. While many thought that this would never become a reality, on January 25th, after a day of meetings with Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray Caso and his colleagues, Trump signed an executive order calling for “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border” and another wave of deportations of undocumented immigrants. Trump’s visit to Mexico was such an embarrassment to the Mexican government that Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, had to dismiss Caso from his position. Furthermore, Peña Nieto issued a public, statement saying that “Mexico will not pay for any wall,” and the next planned meeting between Trump and Peña Nieto was canceled.
Though he has hurt relations with some countries, Trump appears eager to improve relations between the United States and Russia. He believes that having connections with Putin will help ease the friction between the two powerful nations. However, he quickly lost the chance of goodwill with Russia by ordering an air strike on a Syrian airfield using Tomahawk missiles. Trump has soured relations with Russia because of their support of the Assad regime in Syria’s bloody civil war, and now, instead of attempting to ally with Russia, he is looking to strengthen other US relationships. For example, there has been a surprising tone in relations with China. Trump has noted that he believes that by choosing to support China instead of Russia, he will be able to play the two geopolitical rivals off each other.
With his newfound power as the President of the United States, Trump is making many impulsive decisions regarding the United States’ relations with other countries. He has created a great deal of unnecessary strain on America by destabilizing the US’s alliance with Australia, creating angst with Mexico as a result of his rhetoric, and complicating relations with Russia and China. Trump’s decisions are destroying the work of many presidents before him that created lasting bonds and alliances with other countries. As a result, the US is becoming more and more isolated from the rest of the world. The Trump administration is alienating our allies, as the president attempts to prove that he is a powerful leader for the United States.